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December 31, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:The company that operates a coal-fired power plant in eastern Montana said Tuesday it will close two of the plant’s four units about 30 months ahead of schedule because of the high cost of running them and the unwillingness of its coal supplier to lower prices.Talen Montana said in a statement the older units of the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, whose combined 614-megawatt capacity is co-owned by Talen and Puget Sound Energy, will be permanently retired on Dec. 31. The newer Colstrip units, which generate the bulk of the 2,100-megawatt plant’s output and are owned by six companies, will continue operating although those whose livelihoods depend on the plant worry it also may be shuttered early.The partial closure would be the latest among coal-fired plants that are going offline across the nation as demand for coal drops, the market turns to cheap natural gas and renewable energy, environmental regulations increase coal power costs and states worried about the effects of climate change seek to divest of their power supply that’s generated by coal.The older units had been slated for closure by mid-2022 as part of a settlement in an environmental lawsuit. The decision to retire the units early came after an extensive review and exhaustive efforts to make the units economically viable, Talen Montana President Dale Lebsack said.“Fuel constitutes the bulk of our operating cost, and our repeated efforts to negotiate lower fuel prices with Westmoreland Rosebud Mining, the plant’s sole and only historically permitted fuel supplier, have been rebuffed.” Lebsack said in the statement. “Rather than working with us to keep Units 1 and 2 open, Westmoreland is proposing to increase the units’ fuel cost going forward.”Republican state Sen. Duane Ankney, whose district includes Colstrip, said Tuesday’s announcement doesn’t appear to be a negotiating ploy. “They’re bleeding several million dollars,” Ankney said. “I might be wrong, but if I had to make a bet, I’d say this isn’t a tactic, this is what’s going to happen.”More: Operator: 2 units of Montana coal plant to close this year Talen to close two units at Colstrip by end of 2019last_img read more